Black Cats earn Capital One Cup advantage.Sunderland ensured they would go into the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at Old Trafford with a one-goal advantage after they defeated Manchester United 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
A late first-half Ryan Giggs own-goal gave Sunderland the lead heading into the interval before Nemanja Vidic headed United level shortly into the second half.
The Lads got the winning goal, though, when Fabio Borini dispatched a penalty to get the vital win.
Borini, Phil Bardsley, debutant Marcos Alonso, Lee Cattermole, Emanuele Giaccherini and Steven Fletcher all returned to the side after being rested for the weekend’s 3-1 FA Cup with Budweiser victory over Carlisle United.
Sunderland started the game quicker and faster than United, who were backed by a vocal 5,000 strong away support.
However, the Lads couldn’t get the clear cut chances with only Borini managing to wriggle free to get a shot way, which was dragged wide.
Despite their dominance, Sunderland were lucky not to concede on a rare United foray into the Black Cats’ half as Giggs’ run saw him 30 yards out, slightly left of centre, only for his stinging drive to take a wicked deflection off Bardsley and bounce off the bar.
The Lads, though, took a deserved half-time lead when Jonny Evans fouled Fletcher, resulting in a free kick on the right wing. Larsson’s deep free kick was sent back post where Wes Brown, another ex-United man, played the ball across goal for Ryan Giggs, who was closely followed by Bardsley, to put the ball into his own net.
Sunderland went in at half-time 1-0 up but soon found themselves on level terms when Vidic headed in a Tom Cleverly corner shortly into the second half. The Serb leaped highest to head the ball into Mannone’s top left corner.
The Wearsiders had a brilliant opportunity to score minutes after United’s goal as a Bardsley cross was half cleared by the United back four into the path of Larsson who was thwarted by David De Gea from close range.
Sunderland got back in front following the introduction of Adam Johnson as the former Manchester City winger won his side a penalty after being fouled by Cleverley inside the box.
Borini, who had already scored two huge goals this season, stepped up and confidently put the ball into the back of the net with a right footed effort into the roof of De Gea’s net.
The visitors almost equalized late on when Adnan Januzaj curled inches wide of the post but, after a couple of scary moments, it was Sunderland who got the first leg win.
This win continues Sunderland’s 100% cup record this season.